Monday, April 17, 2006

I Love Judge Judy

“Judge Judy, also known as Judge Judith Sheindlin, is celebrating her 10th year on television, and she has never been more popular. She has one of the top programs in syndication, earning her a reported $30 million a year. Her books, with titles like "Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining," and "Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever," have been best sellers. And she has some serious fans. Last summer, both the novelist Kurt Vonnegut and the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen made semi-serious suggestions that she should be considered to fill Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court.” ADAM COHEN, The New York Times

In this world of “spinspeak” (see, it’s so great to watch Judge Judy once in a while and see her cut through the lies, spin and evasions and reach a clear-cut decision in a flash. I wish that the real world was more like that. Recently I witnessed a hearing during which Senator Finegold (who wants Congress to censure President Bush) had John Dean (of Watergate fame) called as a witness to buttress his censure attempt. I was reminded of a Judge Judy exchange during which a mother told Judge Judy that her son told her that a picture had fallen from the wall, smashed the fish tank and killed all the fish. Judge Judy responded,”your son is a liar, and you are an idiot”.

Recently, also, I submitted a column of mine to a liberal political forum to see what kind of reaction I’d get. I know better, but I could not believe the twisting of history, the conspiracy theories and the just plain hatred I found there. The comments were so off the wall and so full of obscenities that I could not even begin to answer them. There was no common ground of understanding on which to begin.

One of the issues between liberals and conservatives that bothers me a lot is the failure of many liberals to see the distinction between attacks on a person because of the criminal or immoral things he does, and attacks because of disagreement with his policies or beliefs. Conservatives attacked President Clinton personally because of the unsavory aspects of Whitewater (no other President ever dismissed every federal district attorney on his first day in office – presumably to kill the Whitewater investigations), because he committed perjury and obstruction of justice and because he sexually harassed a White House intern half his age from a position of great power.

On the other hand, liberals have tried to destroy the reputations of so many people only because they had views of the proper role of government that was different from theirs. I am thinking of Justice Bork, Senator Tower, Sec. Donovan, Justice Thomas, Justice Roberts, Justice Alito and others. I am also thinking of their attempts to brand our president as an incompetent liar, and to blame the deaths of African-Americans from Katrina on a deliberate policy of the vice-president. This summer’s NARAL ad and the attempt of NY Times reporters to pierce the shield of confidence of the adoption records of the Roberts’ children is another case in point.

I know that attacking politicians personally is a fine old American tradition, and that conservatives attacked Roosevelt, Truman and others, but the extent to which liberals carry this now has gone way, way out of bounds; liberal Justices Breyer and Ginsburg were never subjected to hateful invective. Conservative thinkers, like David Horovitz and Ann Coulter, actually need police protection when they are invited to speak at college events. This is what you get when Democratic leaders like Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and Harry Reid spew their foul tirades.

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At 5:24 PM, Blogger grantarchy said...

Hi, I realize this post is over a year old, but I wanted to comment. I just did a google search on "judge judy" because I am a huge fan and was just curious about why other people like her. Like you, it is a somewhat guilty pleasure for me, although I always make jokes about how she is my second girlfriend. :)

I was interested to find that you turned the post into a political statement against liberals. And, yes, you could put me into that category of political affiliation. Personally, I don't know what your experience is regarding debating political issues, but I can tell you that conservatives are equally vicious and, in my opinion, quite irrational at times.

At any rate, the irony in this post is that Judge Judy is one of the most objective people on TV, and obviously we both enjoy when she cuts to the chase and is able to sift through the lies. That's why it's interesting that you inject your political bias into your post, which Judge Judy is consistantly able to avoid.

Cheers to you, and I will apologize for the radical liberal people you encounter if you acknowledge that conservatives have their own dark contingent that also squashes intelligent discourse.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Yes there are some dangerous people on the right (Huckabee may turn out to be one of them), but, in recent years, can you name one liberal politician who has been ruined by smears from Republican Congressmen or from members of a Republican administration? (The truth doesn't count).

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous grantarchy said...

Well, I guess I'm curious who you think has been "ruined" on the conservative end as a result of liberal criticism? You mention that Ann Coulter needs a bodyguard, but to me she has a lot in common with other hate groups that need police protection in order to safely spout their invectives. She is actually one of the people on the fringe of the far right that even longtime Republican friends of mine can't stomach. You ask me to name liberal politicians that have been smeared, but put a disclaimer that "the truth doesn't count". In other words, you have made up your mind already, so I doubt that any examples I could provide would hold weight with you.

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judge Judy is conservative. I remember when the liberal media was going after her, after she spoke out against tax payers paying for clean needles for druggies. She said people that support that are "liberal morons."


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